Far-left advocates managed to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Oregon in 2014. Now, eight years down the line, this recreational use of weed is posing severe threats to the state, which is now aiming to increase the punishment for illegal weed growers.
Oregonians Realize Their Mistake
In 2014, voters in Oregon approved a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana after believing it would stop the illegal manufacturing of the drug. However, the illegal manufacturing of marijuana has skyrocketed since then.
Back then, supporters of the ballot measure suggested the legalization of recreational use of marijuana would finish all the problems caused by the illegal manufacturing and possession of the drug.
The ballot measure was supported by many progressive groups that wanted to legalize the use of weed in the state.
Now, the chief petitioner of the 2014’s Oregon ballot measure, Anthony Johnson, acknowledged the legalization of recreational weed failed to eliminate the illegal manufacturing of the drug.
In 2014, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana after being told it would eliminate problems caused by “uncontrolled manufacture” of the drug. Illegal production of marijuana has instead exploded. https://t.co/39EvrWwqNn
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) December 9, 2022
Just this year, the police confiscated more than 105 tons of illegal marijuana in Oregon compared to 2019, when only nine tons of weed were seized.
After listening to too many complaints from law enforcement agencies and legal marijuana growers, Oregon lawmakers are now considering restricting the illegal growth of the drug.
Now that Oregon realized the problem eight years after legalizing recreational use of weed, lawmakers of the state are aiming to double the jail term and fine for the offenders.
Once the new bill is passed by Oregon’s legislature, the illegal marijuana manufacturers will get 10 years in jail with a fine of up to $250,000.
Furthermore, the law will also hold offenders accountable for environmental damage, as well as for using excessive amounts of water.
Similarly, managers of marijuana-growing facilities will not be allowed to hold the passports or any other immigration documents of migrants. This is meant to reduce the forced labor in the state.
The police have also found criminal gangs belonging to Russia, China, and Mexico are also involved in weed manufacturing in the USA.
A draft bill in the Oregon legislature would double the punishment for outlaw marijuana growers. It's hoped that will deter illegal grow ops that have sprouted since recreational pot was legalized. https://t.co/EL9uUQKXF9
— Central Oregon Daily News (@CODaily) December 9, 2022
Other States Have A Lesson in Oregon’s Marijuana Mismanagement
Oregon’s case study of illegal marijuana manufacturing is also a lesson for other states that the recreational use of weed brings more harm than good.
On November 8, Maryland and Missouri also legalized the recreational use of marijuana, which means recreational weed is now legal in 21 states.
If the recreational use of weed is allowed in more states, they can also face tough times in dealing with the problem of illegal marijuana manufacturing.
Apart from posing too many health risks to consumers, the illegal growth of marijuana is also detrimental to the environment.
Furthermore, illegal manufacturing of weed consumes too much water, not to mention the process employs migrant laborers who are treated inhumanely during the manufacturing process.